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Sep 2, 2021

Zinc-infused proteins are the secret that allows scorpions, spiders and ants to puncture tough skin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Many small animals grow their teeth, claws and other “tools” out of materials that are filled with zinc, bromine and manganese, reaching up to 20% of the material’s weight. My colleagues and I call these “heavy element biomaterials,” and in a new paper, we suggest that these materials make it possible for animals to grow scalpel-sharp and precisely shaped tools that are resistant to breaking, deformation and wear.

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